Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Apple

283 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
49%
20%
31%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
29%
28%
18%
16
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3
2

Difficulty

3.1
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
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Helpful (2)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in February 2009.

Interview

Teams of two to three people at a time interviewed me in waves. Technical questions were asked. No brain teaser types of questions. Opinions were asked of various technologies. No one was very prepared for the interview. It seemed like most were bugged to have to do it and just wanted it to be over. Having to work on short deadlines and long hours was a recurring theme.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in May 2008.

    Interview

    Very Disorganized.
    Questions were relatively stupid and run of the mill
    People were not very smart.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you know which direction a memory stack grows in?   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    No negotiation for new hires.


  2. Helpful (8)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took a week. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in December 2008.

    Interview

    I interviewed with the hiring manager, then with several team members, two at a time. The final interview was with VPs, one after the other. I was not told beforehand that they would be VPs. Aside from the background check, this is the final step before an offer is authorised.
    My potential co-workers all seemed very capable, there was no bottom 5% as far as I could see. I hear that laziness or time pressure is the most likely cause of screw-ups or people not wanting to do things thoroughly, rather than people not having the technical know-how.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions on background, coding exercised, how I would approach problems, how I would debug. all very typical.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    I declined the initial offer because:
    offer relied on restricted stock grants to be competitive
    the offered pay was lower than expected
    there is no structured bonus system, it is project based, have heard stories of lower than expected bonuses for successful projects
    they only offer 12 days of vacation a year, vacation days are not negotiable,

    A second offer was made but was barely changed. In fact, I considered it worse. It was clear there was no negotiation.

  3. Helpful (7)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in March 2009.

    Interview

    I was first contacted with a recruiter, who set up a phone screen with a hiring manager. The first phone screen was technical and covered mostly operating system concepts and a little bit on data structures. It went well, so I was told that the recruiter would schedule a second phone screen with another team member. The recruiter scheduled the second phone screen. This phone screen was also technical and not much different (a lot of questions about operating systems). This one was not with a manager. The recruiter contacted me two days later and said they were going to "pass on me." Both of the interviewers I talked were pleasant to talk to and seemed intelligent. The only downside was that the second interview seemed to be more about what I could remember from my operating systems class than my experience and real capabilities. I thought I had done well on the second interview and I thought interviewer's attitude backed that up; there is no feedback on your answers.

    Interview Questions

    • Have you ever written multithreaded code? Tell me about it..   Answer Question
    • What is a hash table? How do they work? What is the time complexity for a lookup? What happens if two keys are the same?   Answer Question
    • What's your favorite feature about your favorite language? Tell me about it...   Answer Question
    • Describe a depth-first search and a breadth-first search... What's the time complexity to iterate all nodes in a binary search tree?   Answer Question

  4.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Apple in October 2009.

    Interview

    I talked to a recruiter at a BYU college career fair and left him my resume. When the official recruiter came to town he scheduled an interview through our recruiting office. He had been all over the nation interviewing candidates and was only looking for one position. he asked a lot of personal questions and only a few technical questions, like about the unix terminal. "If you wanted to change permissions to read/write all recursively how would you do it?"

    Interview Questions

    • If you had to change permissions to read/write all recursively in the unix terminal, how would you do it?   6 Answers
    • If I put you in a sealed room with a phone that had no dial tone, how would you fix it?   16 Answers

  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Apple in September 2009.

    Interview

    I was interviewed on campus (my school) by an Engineering Manager. He was a hiring manager for the CPU Software team. However, they said they had several openings in different teams and the interview was for all of them. And it indeed was. The questions were very generic, but mostly compiler kind of questions - size of struct, loops, find errors in code,big endian-small endian, etc.

    Interview Questions

    • Showed a struct definition in C and asked its size?   3 Answers

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in June 2010.

    Interview

    Started off with a phone screen where we talked about the experience on my resume and other high level software development concerns. I had some time to ask questions about their process and got an overall good feeling.

    The next step was I was emailed a coding problem that I had to complete and return within two hours of opening the email. Upon completion of that I was flown out to Cupertino for an in person interview.

    The in-person interview lasted from 10am to 4:30pm where groups of 2-3 people would come in and spend a 1/2 hour asking white board questions, coding problems, further questions about experience. With each group you were given a token "time to ask questions". Some of the questions seemed a bit repetitive in that many of them were about data modeling. One or two academic questions that aren't really applicable to the work, but just show some problem solving ability.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no real "out of left field" type questions, such as the classic "How many gas stations are there in the US?" or "How would you move mount everest". All questions were within the bounds of the subject matter.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in October 2010.

    Interview

    The phone interview consisted of just questions about my past work experience. Then got called for an on-site interview. The interview lasted 5 hrs with 30 min interviews with 10 people, including one with HR. Most of the questions were about my past experience here as well. Included a lot of drawing on the white board to explain the architecture of software I had worked on. There were some programming questions as well, which were quite simple, like code for fibonacci series and factorial using both recursive and non-recursive methods, counting the number of 1s in a variable, writing code for a circular buffer. Also had questions on OS, like memory management, interrupt handling, preemption etc. I thought I did well, but did not receive an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Write code for writing to a circular buffer.   Answer Question
    • Write code for generating a factorial/fibonacci for a given number using both recursive and non-recursive methods. Advantages and disadvantages of each method.   3 Answers
  8. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in January 2011.

    Interview

    I had couple of phone screen interviews . First screening only involved background questions. Second screening was more technical . I was asked simple programming interview like write a fibonacci series given the length.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (8)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in February 2011.

    Interview

    I got an email with a recruiter at Apple for an opportunity with one of the engineering teams at Apple. I was very excited about this and quickly scheduled a phone interview.

    My first phone interview was about 45 minutes in length and it involved questions about my current work and experience. Basically technology I have worked with as well as some minor CS questions. If you know basic CS, you can breeze through this.

    With that done, I received another email about another round of phone interview which was about 30 minutes long. This drilled into my critical thinking and general problem solving abilities. Wasn't too bad either.

    After this, I got an email from the recruiter that they were interested in flying me over for an onsite interview.

    I met with 8 different people with different mixes of 1:1 and 2:1 interviews each lasting about 45 minutes to last a total of almost 5 hours.

    I got some questions about Fibonacci series, linked list (delete the nth node), improving certain aspect of a system (can't say more on this). Generally, it was a pleasant interview experience, and if I hadn't gotten the offer, the experience alone was enough.

    Interview Questions

    • Define a class for a linked list and write a method to delete the nth node.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I wasn't able to negotiate, however since I had another offer from a well-respected company, Apple matched this offer right off the bat even though I was told an initial base salary lower than what they offered.

    The lesson here is that it is always good to seek multiple opportunities and have another offer in play.


See What Apple Employees Are Saying

StarStarStarStarStar   Current Apple At Home Advisor in Houston, TX

Pros: “Extremely good benefits from healthcare, PTO, and discounts. Very relaxed environment with clearly laid out expectations.”“Extremely good benefits from healthcare, PTO, and discounts. Very relaxed environment with clearly laid out expectations.” – Full Review

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